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Hearing aids are an essential item for millions of people who live with hearing loss. Impacting nearly 1 in 6 people, hearing loss reduces the capacity to perceive and process speech as well as sound. Hearing aids transform hearing health by providing the ears and brain with ample support, making it easier to hear and communicate. These devices, which are more innovative than ever, are highly durable and designed to be worn every day. Hearing aids last an average of 5 years and there are things you can do to ensure they work optimally for as long as possible. A few tips to help your hearing aids last longer includes the following:
- Clean hearing aids regularly. Hearing aids are devices that are worn throughout the day during waking hours. So naturally, they can be impacted by this daily wear and tear – ear wax accumulation in the ears, dust, moisture, etc. This natural debris can impact the electrical and hardware components of your hearing aid device. Cleaning your hearing aids regularly is an important way to thoroughly remove these elements, preventing them from damaging your device. You should clean your device daily and a great way to do this is to have a cleaning routine that you practice every night when you remove your device before sleeping. Your cleaning routine should include:
- Removing all dirt, dust, earwax, etc. from your device with a dry cloth.
- Looking for any substances that may have gathered in harder to clean areas like on the microphone or battery door. You can remove this with a hearing aid brush or small pick.
- Also thoroughly clean the compartment that holds the batteries. Open up the compartment and wipe it down, leave it open overnight so your device can thoroughly dry.
- If you have a behind-the-ear hearing aid, separate hearing aid components and wash these pieces using arm water once every week. Leave these components out to dry overnight and be sure they are completely dry before reattaching and wearing them the following day.
Establishing and following a nightly routine for your hearing aids is a helpful way to ensure that they are clean and working effectively.
- Keep hearing aids dry. One common way hearing aids are damaged is by moisture. Exposure to water – humidity, rain, water activities like swimming, etc. – as well as sweat can damage hearing aid components. Similar to most electronic devices, moisture exposure can damage circuits causing short-circuiting. It is important to keep your hearing aids dry. A few ways you can do this are:
- Remove hearing aids before taking a shower and swimming.
- Avoid placing your hearing aids in spaces that tend to be damper like the bathroom.
- Use a dehumidifier – a case that drys hearing aid devices. You can store your device in a dehumidifier overnight which thoroughly dries them.
- Get hearing aids serviced. Your hearing healthcare provider will recommend coming in around every 6 months for a regular check-in. This will involve performing service tests to ensure that your hearing aids are working optimally. Getting your hearing aids professionally evaluated and cleaned is a great way to support the longevity of your device as well as make sure that it is still meeting your hearing needs. Having your hearing aids regularly serviced also allows an expert to catch anything that may need to be repaired or adjusted.
- Preserve hearing aid batteries. Hearing aids are operated by either rechargeable or disposable batteries. If your hearing aids use disposable batteries, there are ways you can extend battery life. Rather than swapping out batteries every 2 -3 days, preserving your batteries can have them lasting around 5 days. You can do this by opening the battery compartment after removing the device from your ear. Incorporating this step in your cleaning routine, and leaving the compartment door open, helps ensure maximum battery life.
- Keep your ears clean. Our ears can collect dirt and earwax which needs to be regularly removed. Cleaning your ears constantly prevents these substances from accumulating on your hearing aids which can lead to damage.
Hearing aids are a major investment in your hearing health and taking the best care of your device supports longevity. Contact us to learn more about how to best maintain your hearing aids!